Tag Archives: Italy

The Worrier’s Guide to the End of the World: Love, Loss, and Other Catastrophes–Through Italy, India, and Beyond

Worriers guide to the end of the WorldThe Worrier’s Guide to the End of the World: Love, Loss, and Other Catastrophes–Through Italy, India, and Beyond by Torre DeRoche

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A funny and heartwarming story of one woman’s attempt to walk off a lifetime of fear–with a soulmate, bad shoes, and lots of wine.
Torre DeRoche is at rock bottom following a breakup and her father’s death when she crosses paths with the goofy and spirited Masha, who is pusuing her dream of walking the world. When Masha invites Torre to join her pilgrimage through Tuscany–drinking wine, foraging wild berries, and twirling on hillsides–Torre straps on a pair of flimsy street shoes and gets rambling. But the magical hills of Italy are nothing like the dusty and merciless roads of India where the pair wind up, provising a pilgrimage in the footsteps of Gandhi along his march to the seaside. Hoping to catch the nobleman’s fearlessless by osmosis and end the journey as wise, svelte, and kick-ass warriors, they are instead unravelled by worry that this might be one adventure too far. Coming face-to-face with their worst fears, they discover the power of friendship to save us from our darkest moments.

“Like so many of us, Torre DeRoche is wracked with fear, doubt, uncertainty, anxiety; unlike so many of us DeRoche figured she might as well walk 250 miles through India. Which she does, with humor, grace, insight and a fair amount of grit, too, in this lovely and wholly uplifting account of confronting our fears… Luckily (and always enviously) in The Worrier’s Guide to the End of the World we get to tag along.”

— Carl Hoffman, bestselling author of Savage Harvest

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A Thousand Days in Venice: An Unexpected Romance

A Thousand Days in VeniceA Thousand Days in Venice: An Unexpected Romance

by Marlena de Blasi

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This deliciously satisfying memoir is filled with the foods and flavors of Italy and peppered with culinary observations and recipes. The enchanting true story follows a woman who falls in love with both a man and a city, and finally finds the home she didn’t even know she was missing.

Fernando first sees Marlena across the Piazza San Marco and falls in love from afar. When he sees her again in a Venice cafe a year later, he knows it is fate. He knows little English; she, a divorced American chef traveling through Italy, speaks only food-based Italian. Marlena thought she was done with romantic love, incapable of intimacy. Yet within months of their first meeting, she has quit her job, sold her house in St. Louis, kissed her two grown sons good-bye, and moved to Venice to marry “the stranger,” as she calls Fernando.

“An irresistible grown-up love story.” —USA Today

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A Florence Diary

Florence DiaryA Florence Diary

by Diana Athill

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In August 1947, Diana Athill travelled to Florence by the Golden Arrow train for a two-week holiday with her good friend Pen. In this playful diary of that trip, delightfully illustrated with photographs of the period, Athill recorded her observations and adventures — eating with (and paid for by) the hopeful men they meet on their travels, admiring architectural sights, sampling delicious pastries, eking out their budget, and getting into scrapes.
Written with an arresting immediacy and infused with an exhilarating joie de vivre, A Florence Diary is a bright, colourful evocation of a time long lost and a vibrant portrait of a city that will be deliciously familiar to any contemporary traveller.

Its vivid intensity and Athill’s joy at being young and alive and abroad make it perfect for travellers of any age.

The Daily Mail

What could be a casual tour of Italy describing its spoils is actually a meditation on female friendship, war, and the rebuilding of the self. It’s the ideal book for this moment in time, and she’s the ideal writer to show us what survival looks like.

Lena Dunham

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Milan: The Considered Guide

MilanMilan: The Considered Guide

By Roads Publishing

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Featuring recommendations from the city’s coolest chefs, writers, artists and bloggers -Contains all new photography Stately, sophisticated and bold, Milan deserves its reputation as the fashion capital of Italy. A lodestone for designers, artists, milan1photographers and fashionistas, travellers come to experience the birthplace of top brands like Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Versace and Prada. But Milan s rich history gives depth to this stylish exterior. The city s multi-faceted past is visible in its stunning architecture, with landmarks such as the Duomo Cathedral anchoring the surrounding streets. A hard-working city, Milan is the industrial capital of Italy, but this work ethic Milain2is complemented by an unparalleled aesthetic devotion. Soak up some opera in La Scala, admire Da Vinci s genius, and shop till you drop with these tips from our stylish contributors.

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Twilight in Italy by D.H. Lawrence

Twilight in ItalyTwilight in Italy by D.H. Lawrence

In 1912, a young D.H. Lawrence traveled to northern Italy. He spent nearly a year on the shores of Lake Garda, lodged in elegantly decaying houses set amid lemon groves and surrounded by the fading life of traditional Italy. It was here that he wrote Sons and Lovers and here too that we see the early flowering of the prose that would come to define Lawrence s oeuvre. This is a travel book unlike any other, where landscapes and people are backdrops to Lawrence s deeper wanderings into philosophy, life, nature, religion and the fate of man. With sensuous descriptions of late harvests, darkening days and the fragility of ancient traditions, Twilight in Italy is suffused with nostalgia and premonition. For, looming over the idyll of rural Italy are the arrival of the industrial age and the brewing storm of World War I; upheavals that would change the face of Europe forever.”

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A Thousand Days in Tuscany: A Bittersweet Adventure

A Thousand Days in TuscanyA Thousand Days in Tuscany: A Bittersweet Adventure by Marlena De Blasi

They had met and married on perilously short acquaintance, she an American chef and food writer, he a Venetian banker. Now they were taking another audacious leap, unstitching their ties with exquisite Venice to live in a roughly renovated stable in Tuscany.
Once again, it was love at first sight. Love for the timeless countryside and the ancient village of San Casciano dei Bagni, for the local vintage and the magnificent cooking, for the Tuscan sky and the friendly church bells. Love especially for old Barlozzo, the village mago, who escorts the newcomers to Tuscany’s seasonal festivals; gives them roasted country bread drizzled with just-pressed olive oil; invites them to gather chestnuts, harvest grapes, hunt truffles; and teaches them to caress the simple pleasures of each precious day. It’s Barlozzo who guides them across the minefields of village history and into the warm and fiercely beating heart of love itself.
A Thousand Days in Tuscany is set in one of the most beautiful places on earth-and tucked into its fragrant corners are luscious recipes (including one for the only true bruschetta) directly from the author’s private collection.

Recipe from the book:

Deep-Fried Flowers, Vegetables, and Herbs
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups beer
1/2 cup cold water
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
3 ice cubes
Peanut oil or extra virgin olive oil for frying
Zucchini blossoms, nasturtium flowers, and borage flowers, rinsed, dried, and stems trimmed
Celeryleaves cut in branches, rinsed, and dried Whole sage leaves, rinsed and dried
Tiny spring onions or scallions, stems trimmed to about 4 inches in length, rinsed and dried
Warm sea-salted water in a sprayer
In a large bowl, beat together with a fork the flour, beer, water, and sea salt to form a thin batter. Let the batter rest for an hour or so, covered and at room temperature. Stir in the ice cubes and let the batter rest for an additional half-hour. Stir the batter again. It should now be smooth and have the texture of heavy cream. If it’s too thick, add cold water by the tablespoonful until the “heavy cream” texture is achieved.
Over a medium flame, heat the oil in a deep fryer or a heavy pan to a depth of 3.” The more slowly the oil heats, the more evenly it will heat, helping you to avoid hot and cold spots and unevenly fried foods. Test the oil by dropping in a cube of bread. If it sizzles and turns golden in a few seconds, the oil is ready.
Drag the flowers, herbs, and spring onions through the batter, shaking off the excess. Place them into the hot oil and let them bob about for half a minute or so, allowing them to take on a good, dark crust. Turn them with tongs, to finish frying, then remove them with a slotted spoon to absorbent paper towels. Using a virgin plant sprayer, spray each batch immediately with warm sea-salted water and keep them in a 100-degree oven while you fry the next batch. Better, gather people around the stove and eat the things pan to hand to mouth. A very informal first course.

“De Blasi’s glittering descriptions and mouthwatering recipes take you directly into the heart of Italy and into the souls of the Italian people.”
-Adriana Trigiani, New York Times bestselling author of Lucia, Lucia

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Home Sweet Anywhere: How We Sold Our House, Created a New Life, and Saw the World

Home Sweet AnywhereHome Sweet Anywhere by Lynne Martin

“Nearly every page has some crack piece of travel wisdom … an accessible, inspiring journey.” -Kirkus

The Sell-Your-House, See-the-World Life!

Reunited after thirty-five years and wrestling a serious case of wanderlust, Lynne and Tim Martin decided to sell their house and possessions and live abroad full-time. They’ve never looked back. With just two suitcases, two computers, and each other, the Martins embark on a global adventure, taking readers from sky-high pyramids in Mexico to Turkish bazaars to learning the contact sport of Italian grocery shopping. But even as they embrace their new home-free lifestyle, the Martins grapple with its challenges, including hilarious language barriers, finding financial stability, and missing the family they left behind. Together, they learn how to live a life-and love-without borders.

From glittering Georgian mansions in Ireland to the windswept coasts of Portugal, this euphoric, inspiring memoir is more than a tale of second chances. Recently featured on NPR’s Here and Now, as well as in the New York Times, Home Sweet Anywhere is a road map for anyone who dreams of turning the idea of life abroad into a reality.

“The author writes in an engaging, descriptive style that makes the reader feel s/he’s been invited along for the journey. And what a journey it has been. … The book is not just about travel, it’s about embracing the life you have and living it to the fullest.” – New York Journal of Books

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Venice: Architectural Guide

Venice Architectual GuideVenice: Architectural Guide by Clemens F Kusch

Venice is undoubtedly one of the most written upon cities and certainly the most photographed one. And yet another guide on Venice? Five walking tours take you to discover the modern Venice, the less known side of the city, hidden and far away from the well known places.

These proposed intineries take you to the new residential areas and restored warehouse docks, to the works of Carlo Scarpa and Tadao Ando, to modern restructurations and the controversial and much discussed MOSE project (Experimental Electromechanical Module) against the high water. Venice’s unrealized but as famous projects are also included, where you can let your imagination take you to Loius Kahn’s Congress Centre or Le Corbusier’s hospital. Current aerial photographs showcase Venice from unknown perspectives.

Venice has developed into a Mecca for international architects in Venice Architectural Guidethe last few decades. The elite of contemporary architecture gather to celebrate the most prestigious architecture exhibition of our time at the Biennale in the shadows of St. Mark’s Place, the Rialto Bridge and the Doge’s Palace. It is all the more amazing that there is no current guide which covers the modern architecture of the largest open-air-museum in the world.

 

Venice Architectual GuidesThis Architectural Guide is a ticket to a journey of discovery off the beaten tourist path through Venice after 1950. The boat trips and walks in the guide lead to new residential complexes and converted harbour sheds, to works by Carlo Scarpa, Tadao Ando and David Chipperfield. This very practical travel guide also examines controversial new projects like the flood control barriers or spectacular conversions like that of the Fondaco dei Tedeschi by Rem Koolhaas. In addition to never realised designs by Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier and Louis Kahn, the authors present all the Biennale pavilions from the last six decades.

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Italian Ways: On and Off the Rails from Milan to Palermo

Italian WaysItalian Ways by Tim Parks

Tim Parks s books on Italy have been hailed as “so vivid, so packed with delectable details, [they] serve as a more than decent substitute for the real thing” (Los Angeles Times Book Review). Now, in his first Italian travelogue in a decade, he delivers a charming and funny portrait of Italian ways by riding its trains from Verona to Milan, Rome to Palermo, and right down to the heel of Italy.

Parks begins as any traveler might: “A train is a train is a train, isn t it?” But soon he turns his novelist s eye to the details, and as he journeys through majestic Milano Centrale station or on the newest high-speed rail line, he delivers a uniquely insightful portrait of Italy. Through memorable encounters with ordinary Italians conductors and ticket collectors, priests and prostitutes, scholars and lovers, gypsies and immigrants Parks captures what makes Italian life distinctive: an obsession with speed but an acceptance of slower, older ways; a blind eye toward brutal architecture amid grand monuments; and an undying love of a good argument and the perfect cappuccino.

Italian Ways also explores how trains helped build Italy and how their development reflects Italians sense of themselves from Garibaldi to Mussolini to Berlusconi and beyond. Most of all, Italian Ways is an entertaining attempt to capture the essence of modern Italy. As Parks writes, “To see the country by train is to consider the crux of the essential Italian dilemma: Is Italy part of the modern world, or not?””

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